Doyle, Al B Damned, The Crash Landings @ Bournemouth Old Fire Station, 4th July

The Crash Landings (8) formed by chance after vocalist Si Foulkes wrote a tune at work. A mate of his thought it so good he suggested it deserved a band to play it live. Half a decade later and ahead of an appearance at Blackpool’s infamous Rebellion festival, those who turned up early were treated to a half hour set that mixed the bouncy energy of The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys with old skool punk in the spirit of The Damned.

The influence of David Vanian and co was also strongly evident on the special guests, with frontman Al B Damned (8) leading a goth gang that has built a sizeable following since 2010. They took time out from preparing to record a new album to play “our Youtube hits!”, as the man himself put it. One of the band unashamedly wore a W.A.S.P T-shirt and there is an ’80s Hollywood hair metal vibe to some songs, in similar vein to the swaggering catchiness of Helsinki vampires The 69 Eyes and HIM. They also have good stage presence, with singer Al’s natural cool plus leaping and bounding pink-haired guitarist Kodi.

In the early 1980s a teenage roadie was roped in to play guitar in his big brother’s band. He had to be taught rapidly by his sibling and the group’s singer. Those older tutors were Jerry Only and Glenn Danzig. The band was The Misfits, arguably one of the most influential punk bands of all time. The youthful Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (!) toured the world with them until the inevitable implosion and Danzig going on to fight with Only for name and merchandise rights.

Three decades of legal battles and line-up changes later, The Misfits surprised the music world by announcing a reunion in 2016 and they headlined Riot Fest in the USA to great excitement and acclaim. The classic trio of Danzig, Only and Doyle added Acey Slade of Murderdolls and legendary drummer Dave Lombardo for sporadic shows since – sadly none this side of the Atlantic so far.

In the meantime Doyle (8) tours in his band, with a personal twist to the famous “devilock” look and his own set of goth-punk songs. A committed vegan, the guitarist uses exclusively animal-free gear from his straps to his enormous boots. Also living proof it is not essential to eat meat to be musclebound. He is joined by former Cancerslug singer Alex Story, who sports an impressive pair of “muttonchops” sideburns and became increasingly inebriated during the show.

Story’s stage banter was like a stuck and slurring record. “This is a love song. You can dance if you want to…” Various hecklers joined in and parroted his lines back at him, leading to some to and fro as he pondered “Are you a little stuffy? Where the fuck are we anyway?!”

After just over an hour the band left without an obvious goodbye and there was no encore. It is debatable if “Wolfman” would have been capable of any more. Punters not ready to turn in hit the bar next door and someone led a noisy acoustic rendition of Misfit’s classic “Dig Up Her Bones”. As much fun as the Doyle and Story show is, it’s clear what many hanker for.

Doyle is online here

Al B Damned is online here

Crash Landings are online here

Find out about upcoming events at The Old Fire Station here

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